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September 16th, 2014 | 10:28 AM

Ukraine gives its rebels a longer leash. The country’s parliament has given the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions “special status,” with temporary self-rule for three years, and granted amnesty to some of the rebels. Ukraine also ratified a trade agreement (the same one that sparked the crisis in the region last year) that deepened its ties with the the European Union.

September 16th, 2014 | 9:55 AM

Ebola merits more US troops than ISIL. US president Barack Obama will today order 3,000 troops to West Africa in an effort to contain the outbreak. The US plan also includes building 17 new healthcare facilities with 100 beds in each, training up to 500 workers a week, and opening a joint command operation in Liberia’s capital to coordinate international efforts. China is also sending more medics to Sierra Leone to help with lab testing.

September 16th, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Russia’s biggest email provider buys its biggest social network. Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular provider of web-based email, said this morning that it had bought the 48% of VKontakte that it did not already own. The Mail.ru group already owns Russia’s second-most popular social network, Odnoklassniki. It is also looking to expand outside Russia, particularly in the US.

September 16th, 2014 | 6:53 AM

Boeing takes the lead over SpaceX.  NASA is reportedly likely to announce that the US aerospace giant is “the least risky option” (paywall) compared with two smaller rivals who also vying for the lucrative contract to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station. The Wall Street Journal reports that Elon Musk’s SpaceX had been previously seen as a favorite “because of its lower costs and nimbler approach.”

September 16th, 2014 | 9:27 AM
Chart of the Moment

People aren’t downloading apps anymore.

September 16th, 2014 | 6:55 AM

Hollande’s moment of truth. The French president’s new cabinet faces a confidence vote. Any major rebellion by Hollande’s Socialist Party could force new elections and open the door to the right-wing National Front.

September 16th, 2014 | 12:38 AM

UK leaders woo Scotland. Conservative prime minister David Cameron, Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, and Labour leader Ed Miliband made a new promise for powers for Scotland if it rejects independence. The secession referendum takes place on Thursday.

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